An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
IN THESE WANING DAYS of the federal election campaign, a new issue is suddenly top of mind.
It’s not climate change, or the economy, or immigration. It’s the prospect of a coalition government. As neither the Conservatives nor Liberals are able to make a move in the opinion polls, the NDP and Bloc appear to be fighting it out to grab the balance of power.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh doesn’t like the idea of a coalition with the Conservatives, leading to the conclusion that a Liberal-NDP coalition is in the offing unless the Bloc overtakes the NDP.
Prop reppers would, no doubt, hope a multi-party government would prove the advantages of electoral change.
I hate to throw cold water on such speculation, but I side with those who say chances of a true coalition government are slim to none no matter which party obtains a minority.
Nobody is going to go into a coalition with the Conservatives should they win the most seats, so they’d have to govern the best they could as a minority.
The Liberals could theoretically form a coalition with either the NDP or Bloc but would likely find it unpalatable to join with either.
The only path to a coalition is if Andrew Scheer wins the most seats but not a majority, which might tempt a couple of the other parties to gang up and keep him from forming government.
Coalitions, however, are not something federal political parties dabble in. They’d rather soldier on for awhile as a minority and hope to get a majority in the next election after losing a confidence vote in the House.
Where does that leave us? It leaves us with the possibility of returning to the polls a lot sooner than we’d hoped or expected.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.